Motorcycle Helmet Bill Revs Up Debate in Nebraska

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A bill that would let motorcyclists ride without helmets in Nebraska has reached the full Legislature, but supporters will have to overcome a filibuster if they want it to pass.

Lawmakers began debate Thursday on a measure to partially repeal Nebraska's helmet requirement for motorcyclists. The measure by Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins would exempt riders who are older than 21 years old from the helmet requirement.

Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins says he views helmets as an issue of freedom and personal choice.

Opponents have promised a filibuster, saying the helmet law saves lives while reducing insurance and Medicaid costs. Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha says the 24-year-old helmet law has helped Nebraska prevent needless deaths and brain injuries.